For three decades, Nikki Appino, a multi-disciplinary theater artist and filmmaker, has refined and personalized her career as a director, writer, and producer for stage and screen
Her work has been recognized through commissions and grants, including the Pew Center for Arts & Culture, the Flintridge Foundation, Paul Allen Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts/TCG Directing Fellowship.
In the 90’s she founded the company House of Dames to develop and produce original theater and film works. From 1998 to 2003, House of Dames produced over ten original pieces, including Invisible Ink, Before the Comet Comes, Rain City Rollers, and Djinn.
“Each of writer-director Appino’s pieces has had its own singular style. But running through much of her original work, from the visually grand Djinn, to the more intimate Invisible Ink and Project X are currents of melancholy…humor, and a human-scale approach to epic subjects.”—The Seattle Times
Appino has collaborated on her original work with a range of artists and composers, including Eyvind Kang, Robin Holcomb, Wayne Horvitz, and Philip Glass. Her directing credits include Robin Holcomb’s Silent Spring (Walker Center, Wexner, Flynn Center, Dance Theater Workshop).
From 2009 to 2012, Appino worked with the International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice in Thailand teaching generative theatre and media production. While there she collaborated on three video documentary projects: Inside Out, World on Fire, and The Art of Change.
With her present company Appino Productions she directed and produced the documentaries A Girls’ Gotta Ride (about women and the rodeo) and American Rimpoche: A Tibetan Lama in the Twenty-first Century (about the arrival of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, with music by Philip Glass).
She currently has three performance projects in development: The White Lama, which explores the life and disappearance of Theos Casmiri Hamati Bernard, Transcontinental, a musical myth about two women in love at a 1932 roller derby contest and Archivist with Saori Tsukada.
Her most recent project, Club Diamond (with Saori Tsukada) was selected for the Sundance TheatreMakers Residency and its Theatre Lab at MassMoCA. Club Diamond premiered at the 2017 Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater in New York City, and it played at the 2017 Days and Night Festival in Big Sur, California.